Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pak cricket, jokes about

A wonderful post on AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY. On three of my favorite topics: cricket, the Paki cricket team and Islam. And hilarious to boot.
(For persons without a sense of humor, write me for a pinch of salt.)

Personal opinion(s):
I love that picture.
I think the Pak players are grown-up and professional enough to decide for themselves how to balance their deen and their job. Shoaib Malik's strange post-defeat comment notwithstanding. [I never said "articulate enough to say it right". Just grown-up and professional.]

Kashmir (Not the Led Zep version); And 'A+' to BBC.

اگر فردوس بر روی زمین است
همین است و همین است و همین است

Agar firdaus bar roo-e zameen ast,
Hameen ast-o hameen ast-o hameen ast.

If there is paradise on face of the earth,
It is this, it is this, it is this.
-Amir Khusro

I thought Shah Jahan was moved to poetic outburst on taking in the beauty of Kashmir when he said this, but like all romantic notions this seems to be an exaggeration, a fallacy and not a little bit of an anticlimax. See this post [on a blog called AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY] for a fuller explanation. How interesting.


In the beginning of October, BBC online posted a great Special Report on Kashmir. There are several related links and articles here, starting from a very factual Background [roots of the crises, the forgotten plebiscite, the LOC etc], Voices from Kashmir, Key Questions Answered, even a page on Possible Solutions and Pitfalls.
It's kind of your summarised overview of the problem. Read and understand, my friendships. It's a non-propaganda-angle report. Not the Indian, Paki or Chinese version. Facts as is.

There are many reasons BBC World is my preferred news source.
Objectivity in news stories is the primary one.
Newsreaders and presenters don't have that annoying nasal twang from umreeka. [This is very important.]
Also, an overwhelmingly large number of these respectful presenters have no notion of frivolous Botox-usage. They exhibit more than one facial expression and it's usually the right one for the story.
You can often find obscure news pieces here, special reports, great documentaries, some really kick-ass shows like Hard Talk and The World Debate, even their travel and entertainment segments are top-notch. Oooh, which reminds me, how nice is Top Gear?
I could go on and on but here is where I stop.

Six days to go. Madness and mayhem.

Tee hee. Why not?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bye, boys. See you later.

"My life closed twice before its close;
It yet remains to see
If Immortality unveil
A third event to me,
So huge, so hopeless to conceive,

As these that twice befell.
Parting is all we know of heaven,

And all we need of hell."

-Emily Dickinson

The day after Eid after an unusual silence from Boomsa when I called her to chit-chat and find out were she had been during the festivities, she gave me the news. Li'l Joey was gone. The street dogs got him. And Boo didn't want to tell me over Eid. For which I am grateful.

Be at peace, Jo darling. You were much loved and didn't you know it. I had brought you truckloads of food and would have loved to see you shovel your way through it.
Here's Jo when he just came home with Boomsa as a baby.

This was the Monday immediately after Eid. 15th October, 2007. I went over to Boo's house to hang out with her and take solace in Hot-Cross-Bonz. Who I was SO GLAD TO SEE because it had been a while.
(I have no shame in admitting that I felt far more strongly for Bonzo than Jo-Cat, obviously because I hardly knew the little darling. I had met him a few times for a few hours and he was endearing as dammit, but Bonz is my firstborn and he's been with Boo and I since way back when. There's no comparison.) So the sudden news of Joey's death put things in jarring perspective. I drank Bonz in that day. He was being a babe as usual. He gave me all the attitude he had saved up especially to throw my way, he turned his back on me, he walked away in utter disdain several times, used me as a scratching post at will and had me begging for more. As usual. He is, of course the only man who's ever made me beg for his affections. We watched TV where Bonz was especially enthralled by a pet show. On puppies, even.Bonzo loved the sheer khorma I had made for Eid. He pigged out on a lot of it. A LOT. He was fattened, I was flattered. It worked well for the both of us. While in the kitchen Bonzo amused me by wondering about a certain black ant that was working his way towards somewhere under the fridge. Here's a video. Please note his darling meowing: "What IS this thing?" and his utter disbelief when Ant escapes.

Apart from this video, I took several pictures and videos of Bonz on my phone. That's the last set I'll ever have. More's the pity. Bonzo was great onscreen.
Bonz and I played for hours that Monday. We hadn't done Socker for a while, which is our game of soccer played with rolled-up socks. In the absence of sock-rolls, I used soft chewy balls, his old buddy Party Pooh and other assorted throwies. Much fun and exercise later, Boo came home and we continued the games till late into the night. Hot Bonz demonstrated amazing theatrics while pursuing and clawing the ball etc.
I went home after Boo announced she would cancel gym plans and that this indoor exercise was far better than anything else. I nodded in agreement.
The next day, I went to Vellara Junction and procured excellent fun items: a mini-cricket set with 2 plastic bats and balls. And a Buzz Lightyear tennis/squash/badminton/what-have-you twin racket set. If we were going to play, we'd do it in style.
Tuesday the 16th was even more fun than the previous evening. Bonzo was in his element. He did a few nifty moves involving upending the potted palms. He played donkey in the middle, on the side, ahead and behind. He banged his head no less than 29 times against various doors, beds, sofas and chairs. In spite of us having moved a lot of the movable furniture around till we had a clear playing field inside the house.
I have no pictures of that last day with Bonz. I thought there was time enough for that. This was to be our daily workout regime, n'est pas? I said bye to Boo and Bonz at around 2130 pm and rode home to the boondocks.
17th October, Wednesday afternoon. I let myself in at Boo's house. I waited to hear the tinkle-tinkle of BonzoBells running up to disregard me and frisk me for food. Nothing. He wasn't home.
I twiddled my thumbs, read the newspaper, called up Boo to complain about Bonzo being a rowdy loafarr type, went out to the balcony several times to call out to him, practiced come-hither looks in front of the mirror, performed this act on the balcony and, in the end, resorted to the one medium all idiots use to while away time: I switched on the telly.
Boo came home in a while. We pretended to be casual about Bonzo's long absence. "I hate it when he does this." "Bugger's eaten his meals and taken off to paint the town red, eh?" "Hanging out with the boys, is he?"
Inside, we were both worried but we didn't say so.
I spent some more time with Boo waiting for Bonz and left for home feeling not-so-good.
And the next day, Thursday now, Boo called me early in the morning. Bonzo had not returned.
That day I searched the streets over and over. I called out to Bonz in lanes and alleys I'd never visited before. I spoke with many strangers, most of whom were really sweet. Some couldn't be bothered about missing cats. I even walked into someone's house because I heard mewing there. It turned out to be a very nice lady with 2 cats of her own. They were outdoor-access cats and much smaller than Bonz. I left her house feeling hopeful. Kids and security guards were especially concerned, I found.
Many times that day I came across people who were laughing at me because I happened to be crying. How anyone can do that is something Boo and I discussed later and came up with no answers to. I put up basic posters all around the neighborhood. Creeps started calling in to chat me up using Bonz as an excuse. One creepy 40-something b@#^%$% actually followed me around when I was putting up posters and started pestering me because he was Kashmiri and thrilled to bits I was as well. How does that work? "Hey, you lost a pet? Want to hear me lie about me seeing him and then ask you personal questions about your life?"
On the upside, the anger makes one forget about the grief for a while.
Friday morning: A security guard from a nearby apartment complex calls me and says he's seen Bonzo's body in a dump. There's no mistake because he saw the collar. Titla was a sweetheart and imediately drove me there. I showed the guard Bonzo's photos. He confirmed.

Titla and I waited for Boomsa to come home. Sushma returned soon as well. We sat together, the four of us that day, talking for hours, and it was a little comforting.
I got up to go home where no one is very big on cats, even my Bonz. My affection for Bonz and Jo was seen as an amusing aberration. Well, haw haw. I have only this as an insipid excuse to be grumpy and sad at home. Boo is in a far worse place. She has to come home to a new silence and this will take getting used to. Be strong, Boo.*Call me anytime and we'll go away.* Hug*
Friends who were unbelievably sweet and supportive over the next few days, I thank you.
Tits: You are my lifeline.
Jellicle, Soulmia, Pinkah, Ruth, Giggles: My love and gratitude.
Bob: You asked! ;-)

I love you, Bonz. And you, Joey.
And now, enough, no more.

All videos and pics of the boys will be up on my You Tube and Picasa pages soon. For their legions of fans.

Tum toh bilkul Eid ka chand ho gayee ho

The Eid chaand I sighted from the car park at Garuda mall. Evening of 13th October, 2007, being a Saturday.
This was the first time I saw the Eid moon myself. So of course I didn't know the appropriate du'a to read at the opportune moment. *smacks forehead*
[I have to say, it looked suspiciously like a 2nd day moon].

Anyway, immediately on catching the above glimpse, Ozz, Nida, Suhail and I, who were driving home together, called up the entire maternal side of our family wishing parents, aunts, uncles and cousins "Eid Mubarak!" [On speaker-phone and loudly, noisily, rowdily.]

Unclear photo clarity courtesy frantic mobile phone clicking. Contrary to popular belief, I don't carry my tripod and real camera around all the time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shite week and then some. Returning soon....

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Farewell, Inzy

And very extremely well done, and hats off and curtseys and a huge standing ovation. I [heart] you.

I know I'm going to miss this giant when I watch Pakistan play now on. (I know you will too, Boomsa.)
From 1991 to 2007, Inzy has enthralled cricket-loving fans worldwide. Thank God for Imran Khan who discovered the lumbering giant and stuck by him for the '92 World Cup, which Inzy was eventually instrumental in winning. And there's been no looking back ever since.

*wipes tears*

Here's the video of his final interview and the chokey scenes with his team after.
Loved it when he says in true Inzy style, "Thenk you, bwoiz."

Some articles from yesterday and today: Pak greats hail Inzy, Irreplaceable Inzy, SA's guard of honour as he stepped in to bat in his final match etc. Many more fitting tributes will come up pretty soon I expect.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

When they said I was clinically insane,
what did they mean?
That I went about it scientifically?
That there was a method to my madness?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The numbers game

What a race today. And look at the Drivers' points now: 107, 103, 100. Yeeesh.
Full low-down on the Chinese Grand Prix from the formula1 site.
Unfortunate and inexplicable end to Hamilton's Shanghai run opens up the whole board again. What was that?

Anyway, it's all down to Interlagos now, where, frankly, anything is possible. This is going to be one of the most eagerly watched races to ever close a season. On paper, each of the top three have a chance at making it to number one. The probability is still that Hamilton will take the Championship and go down in history as the first debutante to take home the grand prize, but Alonso and Kimi are on his tail and how...

Monday, October 01, 2007


A belated post about a fun girls' night out last week, bringing in Ruthie's[right] happy birthday. The night that was the 25th of September running into the 26th of September. Wheeee!
I had asked Ruth some time last week that I be allowed to take her out on a very hot date, and she acquiesced. Pinkah was soon a part of the dinner plans, and finally Sophia was inveigled in to make it a lovely quartet. The original plan was to rendezvous and stuff face at Shezan on Lavelle Road. [I won't say who suggested it. WE ALL KNOW. Hmmph. Let us just say that up to some point in the recent past, this used to be a nice, respectable restaurant to eat out in, which is why we agreed to go there in the first place.]
I collected Ruth from a pre-arranged scientific meeting point, and in the pleasant light drizzle, playing dhin-chak songs on the car stereo, we headed towards Shezan. Pinkah arrived shortly after, dressed to the nines, whatever that means.
No sooner were we seated than we realised that this is not the sort of shady joint we wanted to be celebrating Ruth's Coming to Life in. The table cloth was the same as I remembered from 1997 and that is not a good thing. There was only one other table occupied, the waiters were looking listless and the lighting was not conducive to out festive mood. Also, some trash music was playing and I cannot abide with bad music when I'm out to enjoy. All of us were individually thinking the same inward thought: "How can we get out of here and who will bell the cat?" (Though outwardly these may appear to be two separate, independent and unrelated thoughts, the use of the conjunction 'and' renders it one whole undivided unit.)
So, we tried to look casual and talked of the weather and laughed amusedly at the still-not-arrived Sophia's incoming texts about her deranged auto-ride and her ETA, but all the while the twiddling of out thumbs and the tapping of our feet intensified and the frowns on our foreheads deepened. To kill time (and not look cheap), we ordered a few Iced Teas and Onion Rings [for what is a night out if not initiated with deep-fried fresh-breathy-snacks]. The final straw for me, that famous one which broke the unfortunate camel's back, was tasting the so-called Onion Rings. Gaaaak!! They were terrible. Being unable to take this substandard turn of events any more, I thought I would scream aloud, "Let's GOOOOOO!!!" but was pre-empted from so doing by a simultaneous wail from Ruth and Pinkah. Obviously all of us had seen the light at the end of the tunnel and it was decided that we make good our escape from the shady Shezan as soon as possible. (We also vowed never to hide our feelings again and talk openly about things that were bothering us.)
As soon as Sophia arrived we left, and in our wake stood the offended waiters shaking their fists and cussing at us becuase we had not been too subtle about our disenchantment with the place, the lousy food and the desire to GET OUTTA HERE! I believe we also laughed loudly and disdainfully at many points.
Pre-departure, we four had decided that we would head to the very nice Cafe Fresco's on Cunningham Road. We all piled into my car and we drove there in high spirits and a flood of bad jokes. As soon as we turned in to the graveled calm of Fresco's parking lot, I knew it was good decision. Being a weeknight and slightly drizzly, there were no raging crowds or noisy teenybopper sorts milling around the place. Just a set of cheerful, comfortable, well-behaved dining folk, all enjoying their own personal enjoyments.We ordered the food, settled in pretty well on our table, enjoyed the gazebo ambience, the light rain, the toned down music and each other's company.The food was quite excellent. Starting with the hummus [ordered cleverly by Sophia] which was as authentic as any I've had, right up to Pinkah's Penne Pasta with Arabiatta Sauce ["A penne saved is a penne earned," I offered, when Pinkah couldn't finish her portion], Ruth's Chicken Parmesan and my Grilled Fish- all were very satisfying and also, delicious.And then........ the desserts!!!!! Now, anyone who knows anything about eating out in Bangalore will tell you that you get the best desserts at Rahila Rauf's patisserie. Where is this little piece of heaven to be found? Why, attached at the hip to Fresco's, which just happens to be her husband, Mr Rauf's joint! Wheeee....
So, to cut a long story short, Sophia and I quickly tippy-toed to Rahila's counter at the back and there we had the expected spasms and fits of unbridled joy that one is wont to exhibit when faced with her creations at a close range. We walked across each dessert with awe, and it must be said, rapidly-filling drool in our mouths. If it were not for the amused waiter standing by, I believe we would have stood and applauded each masterpiece with tears in our eyes.
As it was, it took us a good ten minutes to finally zero in on the two most desirable desserts for our table. We settled on the "Oreo Mud Pie" thingie [that may not be the correct name, but it had Oreos in it] and "New York, New York", which is cheese cake, New York style. The Oreo creation was fantastic! I don't even like dark chocolate but this particular dark-choc dessert was something else. The cheese cake ranked a close second but only because the chocolate was so damn good. *Standing ovation* for Madam Rauf.
It was unfortunately time to leave after that, and we decided that since there was still time for Ruth's birthday to arrive [about 15 minutes or so till midnight], we would drive along to Sophia's home on the wrong end of the edge of Bangalore and scream "Hap Birdday!" when the time was right.
And so it was. We took off in the car listening to fascinating item songs as Maiyya Maiyya, Ganpat, Cash and other contemporary gems of the Hindi fillum industry. By and by we came to midnight and we all yelled and shrieked and laughed "Happy Birthday to Ruthie". Amid much mirth, noise and inanity, Sophia disembarked at her home. The return journey then began and much to the disappointment of the remaining three of us, Sophia wasn't there to enjoy an absolutely fascinating item song called "Mummy", which beats the pants off every other song in history for sheer lyrical ad vocal genius.

Here are some lyrics, if you don't believe me:
Kehte hain sabhi ki badi haaat hoon main,
Tell you what, taqila ka ik shaaat hoon main [X2]
Magarrrr khayaaaal yeh rahe zaraaaaaaaaa....
Mummy ko nahin hai pata!!!
Naa, naa, mummmmy ko nahin hai pata!
So, Mummmmy se naaa kehnaaaaaaa........!

Haaaaaaaaaaaahhahahhaahhahahahaaa..... Happy birthday, Ruthie doll.

More pictures of that night, here. Unfortunately, I didn't take any shots of the desserts.
Oh, God, I HATE real-life drama queens. H-A-T-E.

In Ramadan, thumbs ups, and thumbs downs

My best time of the day: Post suhur [the prescribed pre-dawn meal during our fasts], when I've cleaned up in the kitchen, everything that needs to go back in the fridge has, and I have settled down for Fajr [the morning prayer]. After Fajr, some tilaawat, lots and lots of dua'as and assorted durood shareefs, which are really beautiful since I more or less understand the Arabic in the different duroods. [One of my favorite duroods is Durood-e-Taj. And then I find this on the web. I am disturbed. Anybody?]

Anyway, after my favorite time of the day, I go to sleep. [:-)] *gasp*

Other random points, being thumbs down-s:
1. Ramadan is not about not eating. I don't understand how a Muslim can get up in order to stuff face till the last permissible minute and then immediately go to sleep after, without even offering Fajr. *shudder*
2. And then to forget about the prayers during the day, leave off shaving [men], act lazy, lethargic and martyred [why for???] but get all perked up in time for the Feast that is Iftar. *shudder again*
3. Watching TV is not more important than Suhur or Iftar. Particularly watching item gaanas to while away the time.
4. Hullo? Lying is forbidden anyway, try not to do it while you're fasting at least.
5. Pigging out at Iftar and Sehri is uncool. And not propagated anywhere. Why act like it's the last meal you'll ever be having?
6. Think about this month in terms of what you've been taught all your life, the example your parents have set for you and the sense of personal responsibility that you really should have if you're old enough to fast.

Ugh. I'm mad.